A simples guide

A guide to making a car insurance claim

When the shock of having an accident starts to wear away, it’s time to contact your insurance provider. But what is the car insurance claim process, how does it all work and are there any dos and don’ts? Here’s what you need to know.

How soon can I make a claim?

You should tell your insurance provider about your accident (whether or not you want to make a claim) within a reasonable amount of time. How ‘reasonable’ is defined will be set out in your policy documents.

Some insurance providers expect to be told within two days while others will give you two weeks. But whatever your policy states – stick to it, not doing so could invalidate any claim you try and make.

It’s also important to know that you’re covered as soon as your insurance starts – although you’d be unlucky to have to make a claim just after you get your policy documents.

What information will my insurance provider need?

Hopefully, you’ll have gathered the information needed while you were at the scene of the accident, but your provider will need to know:

  • The registration of the other car or cars involved
  • The names, addresses and phone numbers of the other drivers and any witnesses
  • The insurance details of the other drivers involved

If possible, try and provide photos of the accident and any injuries – this will all help bolster your claim and hopefully speed up the process.

If your car’s been stolen or vandalised then you’ll need a crime reference number from the police – again if you have any photos showing the vandalism, then these will be useful to show your insurance provider.

What if the damage is less than my excess?

You should still tell your insurance provider about the accident, but chances are they’ll expect you to sort out any damage yourself if it’s less than your excess.

car accident

Don’ts of car insurance claims

It’s all too easy to panic after a car accident, but it’s important to stay calm. Just remember:

  • Don’t drive off – we know it’s scary but fleeing the scene will only make it worse, it’s a criminal offence not to stop and you could be fined, given penalty points or even disqualified from driving.
  • Seek medical help – you should do this as soon as you can, it’ll serve as an accurate record of any injuries plus if you need treatment, better to get it sorted sooner rather than later.
  • Keep records of any additional expenses such as physio treatment or loss of working hours, keeping good records adds weight to your claim.
  • Don’t settle the incident between yourselves – it’s tempting to try and resolve the fallout from an accident between you and the other driver, after all, they seem reasonable – why not? But you could end up with more grief – once the haziness of the accident has passed, who’s to say the other driver won’t back track on their word or refuse to cooperate? If you bypass your insurance company you could be missing out on help, advice and the right to compensation. 

Who’s got your back?

You always hope that you never have to make an insurance claim but when an accident does happen, it’s your safety net. So making sure you’ve got the best deal possible should be a priority; luckily we’ve got that bit sorted. By using our car insurance comparison service, you can search from more than a hundred insurance providers to find the right deal for you. 

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